This passage from Hebrews has been on my mind this week.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” — Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
Amanda and I actually kicked off and are leading a new young adult ministry at Calvary Baptist Church here in our neighborhood in Jefferson City. This is the passage we studied this week. As one of our friends pointed out, what’s cool, and perhaps a bit scary, about God’s Word is that it cuts both ways! As the Apostle Paul wrote, it’s good for teaching others, but also useful for keeping our own hearts in check!
The Bible is simultaneously the world’s most popular and most hated book. And for good reason — the calls to action it contains often directly contradict our sin nature that we all must grapple with while here in this earth.
“Love thy neighbor? No can do!”
While Jesus’ teaching may not always be easy to follow, we thankfully have the Great Helper on our side: the Holy Spirit. In fact, in Ephesians, the Bible is referred to as “the sword of the Spirit.” This all but directly confirms that it is through the Bible that the Spirit of God primarily speaks to us.
In the western world, we are privileged enough to have multiple copies of the Bible piling up in our homes and stacked on the shelves of the local Walmart or bookstore. Don’t take that for granted. In many countries, especially those in the Middle East and Asia, individuals are severely punished or even executed for simply possessing a copy of God’s Word.
In addition, more than 2,000 people groups are still without a translation of the Bible that they can read. This means that the Bible, while readily accessible in America, is still a precious treasure seemingly beyond the reach of far too many.
I pray that, one day, that will change.